Last Update: 9th October 2020
Surrounded by mountains in three directions, West Lake has a water area of 21.22 square kilometers. Declared as the World Cultural Heritage Site in 2011, it offers more than 100 scenic spots to enjoy, including museums, natural and historical spots. Walk along the lake and you’ll get refreshed.
- Chinese Name: Xihu (西湖)
- Area: 49 square kilometers
- Things to do there: Photography, Nature, History and Culture
- Who visits: Photographers, Nature Lovers, History and Culture Lovers
- Time required: 2 – 3 x Hours
Home to 119 species of birds and more than 20 species of mammal animals, West Lake offers more than 620 trees which are more than 100 years old. Some of them are rare in China.
The Broken Bridge is the most famous compare to other bridges in the area. Originally built in the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907), the bridge is a great point to appreciate snow views in winter. Ice on the same side with the sun melts in the sun while some of the ice on the other side of the bridge is still frozen, which makes for distinctive views.
Originally built in 977, Leifeng Pagoda was to worship the hair relics of the Buddha. Some cultural relics excavated under the original pagoda are on display at the existing one. The pagoda in the golden sunlight of the sunset is picturesque as well.Originally built in 977, Leifeng Pagoda was to worship the hair relics of the Buddha. Some cultural relics excavated under the original pagoda are on display at the existing one. The pagoda in the golden sunlight of the sunset is picturesque as well.
Su Causeway is spanned by 6 single-hole stone arch bridges. It was built by Su Dongpo (1037 – 1101), a poet when he was the prefect of Hangzhou. The views along the 3-kilometers-long causeway is the most attractive. Green and long willow branches blow with breeze, birds sing in the tree and the sunset covers the lake with golden color.
If interested, you can visit one or two museum near West Lake. West Lake Museum introduces history and culture on the lake through nature, folk customs, geology and other aspects while China National Silk Museum tells the development of silk in China through the related tools, pictures, exquisite modern and traditional silk clothing, etc.
If you’d love to visit the lake for photography purposes, the best time to visit is at sunset.
The best months to visit are from April to June and from September to October.
- Rent a vehicle to the lake. This is the quickest and most direct option.
- Take Bus K4 or Tourist Bus 2 to the Stop of Sudi (苏堤站).
- Take Bus 28 or Bus 15 to the Stop of Yuquan (玉泉站).
- Take Bus 27 or Bus 7 to the Stop of Yuefen (岳坟站).
- Take Metro Line 1 to the Stop of Longxiangqiao (龙翔桥站). Then walk to the lake.
- Opening hours: 24 hours.
- Tourists can visit the lake for free. If you want to explore some of the scenic spots in the area, you’d need to pay for the entrance tickets.
- It is not suggested to visit the lake during the public holidays, especially the National Day, May Day, or Mid-Autumn Festival as it is always crowded with domestic Chinese tourists in the area.